May 6, 2005 The landmark film "The Corporation" has moved beyond the realm of documentary filmmaking to become the toolkit of an emerging movement that is questioning the very foundation of "business as usual" for corporations around the world. It is also it moving beyond mere analysis of the problem, to become part of a case study on the social impact of documentaries. An interesting and important on-line debate will take place on May 7 to bring people together to question "what happens next?" The three arguments to be debated are reform, regulate or rewrite - should we REFORM (make corporations run better, reward good management, make better business practices good business), REGULATE (introduce more democratic governmental controls and hold corporations accountable for their planetary misdeeds or REWRITE (change the legal constitution and eradicate corporate personhood). This is an important debate as it could influence the very fabric of our society. Be there!
The Corporation has moved beyond the realm of documentary filmmaking to become the toolkit of an emerging movement that is questioning the very foundation of "business as usual." It is also it moving beyond mere analysis of the problem, to become part of a case study on the social impact of documentaries.
Last week at the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto, as part of the Doc Summit, the National Film Board of Canada unveiled their commissioned-study on the social impact of documentaries.
The Corporation - A case in point.
Strategic Director Katherine Dodds, was quoted in the report as saying that "The Corporation is the one of the best social marketing tools to come along in the past ten years. It's not enough to measure a film's impact just on how it did at the box office. We are thrilled with this measure of the film's success, so amply demonstrated to date. But it's not enough! We are holding this debate, and continuing this campaign so that we can capture the momentum, and mobilize audiences.
"We want people discussing the issues in the film, and we want the next campaign we launch to take the best ideas that we can gather and present them back to our network. For this reason I am not only encouraging people to throw parties, but to register on our HelloCoolWorld.com network so you can log in to the debate, and so that you can access our online feedback form.
"We need to work with as many groups and individuals as possible, to really reduce the power that corporations can wield. We believe the film can have an actual impact, and this is what we are working towards."
Interested parties from around the globe can watch and even join the debate on May 7, 2005 as special guests square off to answer the question: Should we Reform, Regulate or Rewrite the Corporation?
The online collaborative "Corporation Rethink Debate" is part of an ongoing House Party Campaign built around the DVD release of the hit film The Corporation. Since April 8, 2005, people have been partying with a purpose: to strategise solutions and activate a public confronted by an increasingly corporation-dominated world.
Partiers will be invited to join the debate here and weigh in with their own ideas. The feedback gathered will be used to create a "Framework for Action" to reduce corporate harm. This debate is the first of what may be a regular web forum on the issues of Reform, Regulate, and Rewrite.
For May 7, representatives of the three "official" positions will pitch their case:
Make corporations run better. Reward good management. Hold corporate "heroic" leaders up as a testament that better people can run better companies. Make better business practices "good business."
More democratic governmental controls. Hold corporations accountable. Make corporations really pay for their planetary misdeeds. Worker control. Bigger bars on the corporate cage.
Overthrow. Change the actual legal constitution of every corporation. Eradicate corporate "personhood". Change the entire DNA of the corporate animal. Anarchism & new experiments in democracy.
WHEN IS THE DEBATE?
The debate schedule can be found here.
The debate will take place on-line at 7-9 PM PST (that's10-midnight EST) and if you live elsewhere in the world, click this link to find out what time it will be where you are.
A more general time and date calculator can be found here.
WHO IS BEHIND THIS
The House Party Campaign and Corporation Rethink Debate is sponsored by the non-profit groups: Polaris Institute in Canada and Amnesty International USA's Business and Human Rights Campaign in the U.S. Public Service
Announcements will be aired across North America to build awareness of the campaign and start people brainstorming on the solutions. Since its launch in 1997, the Polaris Institute has been steadily working to reclaim public power by providing citizen movements with the tools and skills necessary to fight for democratic social change on both a national and international level.
Amnesty International USA is the U.S. section of Amnesty International, the Nobel Prize-winning grassroots activist organization founded in 1961. With its vision to create a world in which every person enjoys all of the fundamental human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it has grown to over 1.8 million members worldwide.